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How do humans, animals and plants adapt to changing environments?
Concerns about how organisms and the environment affect each other is an issue of modern global society. How humans, animals and plants adapt to their environment is the central question in Nijmegen's Master's in Biology. The mechanisms that lie underneath this adaptation are studied at all levels, ranging from the smallest living entities, such as molecules and cells to larger entities such as ecosystems, and entire populations.
Do you want to know whether you are eligible for this Master's programme? Do the e-check and find out in a matter of minutes!
You can choose one of the following specialisations:
Read more about this course
1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Biology or related area.
2. A proficiency in English:
a. A TOEFL score of ≥575 (paper based) or ≥90 (internet based)
b. An IELTS score of ≥6.5
c. Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher
Would you like to know if you are eligible to be admitted to this programme? Take our E-Check and instantly get an insight in your eligibility: echeck.ru.nl
€2,168 (from EEA countries); €16,500 (from non-EEA countries)
Fees & funding
Start dates & study options
The specialisation of 'Water and Environment' focuses on human impacts (e.g. chemical emission) on nature, which matches very well with my personal interest in environmental issues. I did my undergraduate degree in Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering back in China, which is quite different from what I do now. I did find the compulsory courses a bit hard to me at first, but after undertstanding the mechanisms, the courses became easier.
I like the active interaction between students and teachers, either in class or during internship. They are willing to help, responds to email very quickly and really encourage interaction.
For me, the most challenging part was the difficulties I encountered during my research internships. For example, at a later stage during my first internship at the department of Environmental Science, I met some difficulties in analysing large datasets in R. However, having the good mentalities of trying to do a good job, staying positive, and asking supervisors for help when necessary were really helpful in these situations. I think due to strong motivation and enthusiasm, I could publish the paper as a first author in Science of the Total Environment (IF=5.6).
I am currently doing my second Master internship at RIVM on the topic of 'Towards an ecosystem service-based approach to assess the impact of chemical pollution on the filtration capacity of Dreissenid mussels in the Netherlands'.
Students with this degrees are able to understand and predict the impact of anthropogenic stressors on species including humans, and help with decision making processes. I am more motivated to carry out research on environmental science related topics after graduation, especially on the impacts of chemicals on ecosystems.
Besides the improvement of my English, I also got insights into many different fields, and therefore, felt more secure about the direction I've aimed to work in.
The biggest challenge during my Master's was choosing an internship. I had to make a decision based on which internship would positively affect my personal development and guide me in the right direction to achieve my goals. I also understood the importance of Soft Skills as communication and work ethics.
My current job focuses on the ethical implications of biomedical data.
My current work has shown me the importance of handling data and the ethical implications of new developments in the future. I consider this important, and therefore, chose to work in this field.
Staying enthusiastic and curious helped me find and perceive new opportunities. Even if the Master's or the job-search is challenging, engage yourself with drive and a positive attitude.
I have a growing interest in maintaining a sustainable environment, also noticing the present-day quest for water-related resources that will face a great challenge in the nearest future, I tend to find myself more involved in finding solutions about how to solve problems linked to Lakes, Streams, Rivers, as well as landmasses with less or degraded system of irrigation. Traveling and an outdoor working environment, I quest in meeting and interacting with the general public.
With just a few students in the classrooms. there has always been a high level of student-student and student-teacher interaction. This helped me to learn, share and ask questions easily when I faced challenges. The lecturers make sure the student have access to the relevant materials needed for the course and make individual research by giving assignments or projects.
I had a limited background in Biology, this was a problem for me at the beginning of the master's program, but with time I could catch up with courses.
I am not yet doing my internship. I still have to finish my second semester at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
My goal is to become an Integrated Water Resource Manager after the completion of this program. Unlike other students who did this program, solving water-related problems linked to society as it tends to be more tricky these days, creating a link between societal development and environmental challenges, between engineering measures and ecological conservation. Having a career in this field would give me the opportunity to do something worthwhile for society, a chance to take initiatives and have decision-making authority.
What I like about Microbiology is that we can focus our studies on what we like. Some students like Environmental Microbiology and others, like me, like more Clinical Microbiology. I also really like that two internships are included in the master's program because this way I can specialize in the field that I like and learn with researchers of different institutes in the Netherlands or any part of the world who can have a project with me and supervise my work.
The atmosphere in class was beyond my expectations. For instance, I became friends with classmates from Nepal, Spain, India, Iran, and the Netherlands. The relationship with teachers and researchers from Radboudumc is really good. In the end, these relationships really helped me in getting supervisors for my first internship and my review article.
After the compulsory courses, you are recommended to start your first internship. This was difficult for me because I am interested in Clinical Microbiology and specifically Virology. I wanted to work with viruses, so this difficulty in finding an internship led to a little stress during the beginning. I did not find one at Radboud University or Radboudumc. For this obstacle, I recommend students to send CVs, or even emails to researchers as soon as possible. However, this might not be an obstacle for other students, who decided to take more courses and wait for an internship opportunity.
After all of that experience, I have two confirmed internships opportunities. I will start next March my internship in the United States about human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and its immunology. I also did a Review Article about the actual biomarkers for HPV and its progression from infection to cancer, with the collaboration of the Medical Microbiology Department in the Radboudumc. After that, I am planning to go to Canada for my second internship to study the immunology of influenza virus.
We need to be prepared and try to clarify how microorganisms, such as bacterias and archaea in the deep ocean, fungi causing diseases, and viruses outbreaks around the world can be useful and harmful to humanity. After I get my master's degree, I would like to start a Ph.D. program in Radboudumc, Nijmegen.
What I like about the Conservation & Restoration Ecology specialisation is the diversity of courses. During the different mandatory courses various ecosystems are discussed. During the courses you'll look at the biogeochemical aspects, but also at the conservation of species and the microbiology of aquatic systems. During the specialisation you also have room for elective courses. In this way you can take a broader look and choose other courses, for example from other specialisations.
The relationship between students and teachers is informal. Teachers are very willing to help students. This can be done by walking into their office or by sending them an email. Especially when you do an internship at a department of the university, teachers will get to know you better and this will only improve the relationship! Some of the teachers even know the name of every student present in class. I really like the coherence between teachers and students.
Sometimes the workload is high and many things are expected from students at the same time. However, in case of problems the teachers are always there to help and to - sometimes - make an exception for a deadline, for example.
I am currently doing an internship at the Aquatic ecology department at Radboud University. I am looking at the emission of methane (strong greenhouse gas) by an invasive aquatic plant (Water hyacinth) in relation to environmental variables and plant characteristics. I am supervised by Dr. S. Kosten, one of the lecturers for this specialisation. Beforehand I was unconfident. Fortunately, this was fully understood and my supervisor quickly gave me self-confidence. I have been very well and intensively supervised. Also for your internship, know that you can walk by your supervisor. At the moment I am in the final phase of my internship and together with my supervisor I am busy writing and publishing a scientific article on my internship subject. This is a unique opportunity that you should grab with both hands, if you ask me!
After completing my studies, I would like to pursue a career in science. I want to do a PhD, preferably at the Aquatic Ecology department (where I am now also doing an internship). My plan B? I would also like to work for RIVM, the government offers many opportunities focused on nature conservation.
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